It hard to believe that September is half over already. The days are still Summer warm, and the nights cleaning, I know that I have. But, it is also time to start thinking of the Winter months. Today I am sharing about how to prepare your pets for the Winter months.
I don’t know about you, but our four-legged family members have things they need to do before the Winter months start showing up. Our dog is 14 ½ years old already, and is starting to slow down a lot. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have two 1-year old kittens that have endless amounts of energy.
It certainly makes for a lively household. Toss in two teenage boys, and you have controlled chaos. So before the snow starts flying, here are some tips to prepare your pets for the Winter months.
Most people don’t think about their pets during the Winter months. There is a mindset that “oh they have fur, they will be alright.” So not true! So I am hoping that these tips will help you to prepare your pets for the Winter months.
How To Prepare Your Pets For the Winter months:
Since our dog has been around the longest, I will start with tips for dogs:
- Make sure you have a vet visit. Now is a great time to make sure your dog has a health check. Make sure their heart is okay, that there are no skin issues, and that they have their flea & tick treatment and heartworm medication. Also, if your dog is on regular medications, make sure that you have the necessary scripts or that refills are available.
- Insure that all vaccinations are up-to-date. If for some reason you would need to board your dog in an emergency, insuring all vaccinations are up-to-date will make sure that there isn’t any issues.
- Verify that your microchip is in place and working. A lost pet can happen, so a microchip can help your pet get back home. If you don’t have one, now may be a good time to have one put in.
- Have your dog’s nails clipped and the hair on their paws trimmed. Snow sticks to the hair on the bottom of a dog’s paw, and can become painful on their pads. By having short hair on the paws lessens the risk of that. Trimmed nails also help with even grips on snow and ice.
- Take the time to stock up on extra food and treats. You don’t want to be stuck in the snow and not have dog food. The shelf life on most pet food has increased, so having extras “just in case” is a good idea. If you don’t need it, and you don’t think your dog will get to it before the expiration date, think about donating it to a local pet shelter.
- Pick out a fun “coat” and “Winter boots”. If your dog will let you, why not? After all, Winter is fun and your dog should be included in any outdoor romping.
- If your dog is an outdoor dog, make sure their environment is safe and secure. While it is not recommended for most animals to be kept inside during the Winter, sometimes it isn’t possible. So if your dog is an outdoor dog, make sure the fencing is secure. Also try to have a heated dog house and food bowl available. Have extra blankets available that can be changed daily. Make sure you wash and sanitize them as permitted.
So these are some dog tips to make sure he or she is ready for the Winter months. Most of these tips are inexpensive, and can be done in just a few minutes. If your budget doesn’t allow for a full vet visit, consider going to a local vet event at your favorite pet store. They have low-cost options for exams and vaccinations.
So now that I have covered the dogs, let’s talk about our kitty friends. A lot of the tips above will apply to cats as well. Well, other than the clothing tip, as my cats wouldn’t tolerate it. They refuse to even wear collars!
- As above, make sure your cat has a vet visit. It is a great time for kitty to have a check-up, any outstanding vaccinations, a nail trim, and a discussion about feeding schedules. Cats are less active during the Winter, and their food may need to be adjusted to prevent weight issues.
- If your cat is an outdoor cat, have a safe space for them to retreat to. There are a few tutorials out there on how to create an insulated cat house for outdoor cats. Jackson Galaxy even had an episode about it. There are relatively inexpensive to make, and make a HUGE difference.
- Stock up on food AND cat litter. Extra cat litter serves two purposes: providing a toilet for kitty and providing traction for your car in icy conditions. Be sure to keep a jug in your car for just that purpose.
- Be aware of where they are at all times. My cats, despite being indoor cats, have an obsession with doors. Be mindful of where your cats are at all times. It would be sad if they got outside or locked in a cold garage with no food or water.
So there are just a few tips to get you started on what you need to do to prepare your pets for the Winter months. With a little planning, and some early shopping, you can be sure that everyone in your household is ready for those cold winter months.
What tips do you have to prepare your pets for the Winter months? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear what you have to share.
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